Did you know that global eCommerce sales amounted to more than $3.5 trillion dollars worldwide in 2019 and is expected to hit more than $6.5 trillion by 2023? The eCommerce industry is skyrocketing and becoming an advantageous option for businesses. Covid-19 has made a direct impact on the global retail market and business owners are relying on eCommerce platforms to overcome the lack of foot-traffic in their brick-and-mortar stores. If you are looking to become or grow as an eCommerce business, read below for 5 mistakes to avoid and why they are important.
Mistake #1: Looking at eCommerce in isolation
Deciding to expand your business to the global market can be daunting but is worth investigating. Setting up your eCommerce is easy enough but it’s a competitive space and you have to take a look at how it will impact the rest of your business. Consider if you have the right resources to manage all aspects of the sales, ordering and shipping processes by analyzing your financial, physical and human resources. Online shopping is available 24/7 and as technology advances so will your eCommerce platform. You’ll want to be responsive, quick and accurate with your products, stay up to date on digital marketing and social media trends, all while managing the back-end of your business.
Mistake #2: Choosing the cheapest eCommerce platform and vendor that you can find
Cost is only one factor when it comes to choosing the right platform for your business. Take into consideration reliability, relevance, and user experience. Shoppers are looking for convenience and want the experience of purchasing your product to be effortless. The design of your website should be simple to navigate and enjoyable to the customer. Options are endless and people are quick to move on to the next vendor selling whatever they are looking for. Ensure the platform you decide to go with has all the tools to get your customers their order efficiently and provides options for your growth.
Mistake #3: Poor Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO for short is crucial in helping customers find you. A good SEO ranking means more traffic and opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Since the eCommerce marketplace is a competitive space, remain relevant and attractive to your target audience by creating SEO-friendly content. On-page SEO strategies (high-quality keywords) and off-page SEO strategies (backlinks) are both great, but technical SEO strategies are equally important.
“Focusing on your website architecture and ensuring that Google can properly crawl your website goes a long way in allowing your website to rise in the search rankings.”
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices and look into increasing website speed. Not only do you want prospective customers to find your website, but you also want them to stay.
Mistake #4: Not linking your eCommerce site to a back-end inventory system
Many companies fail to realize that having a strong front-end eCommerce site is useless without integration with a strong back-end ERP system. With Covid-19 establishing an escalation of online ordering, your inventory must be correctly displayed to your customers. Think of it this way; if a customer places an order on Friday night and spends the weekend feeling excited about their shipment, just to get an email Monday morning that it’s out of stock, they would be pretty disappointed and likely won’t be visiting your site again any time soon. Your inventory management needs to speak with your eCommerce site to avoid unanticipated situations such as this. To be successful in an online marketplace and to keep up with increased demand, take a look at eCommerce ERP integration. The best approach is to put in place an integrated eCommerce and ERP System as a joint project. Download the guide below to help you determine the level of integration that is right for you.
Mistake #5: Not having a coherent and well-funded strategy to succeed online
While encompassing all the above, writing out a business plan for your eCommerce business defines your goals and pinpoints problems in advance. A great way to start your business plan is to create a SWOT analysis of your current organizational strategies. This analysis includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and will assist in viewing your competitive advantage. Take notes where there are areas for improvement so you can boost your online identity.
The guide below has a ton of great information about starting your eCommerce business including cost considerations and platform options. Whatever stage you’re in with your eCommerce, keep in mind the above tips and don’t make the same mistakes other small businesses make. Learn from them, grow your business, and get selling!